Founder of Evenhood
When I went thorough a mental wellbeing challenge of my own, following a traumatic child bereavement, I had the same sort of experience that many others do.
I know what it's like to hide a mental health condition for fear of stigma. And I know what it's like to ask for help from others, but instead get stigma and lack of support.
My experience was a revelation. It gave me an insight into the terrible world of living with a mental health condition, suffering from stigma and being unable to get support.
And so I went on a quest. My Holy Grail was to find a solution to this problem. What I discovered was so amazing that I launched Evenhood and made it Evenhood's purpose to help people manage their wellbeing, strengthen their resilience and have mentally healthy conversations which result in support, rather than stigma.
I found out that talking about conditions, symptoms and meds is complex, emotional and so medicalised that most people feel they don't have the expertise to help. Even people who want to help feel a frustrated sense of responsibility.
So I had to find a different way of talking about wellbeing. One which shows people how they CAN help. I discovered that mental health isn't just about the mind. It's about our environment too. I knew that in certain environments I could thrive. It was in challenging environments that my wellbeing suffered. I realised that the people I interact with every day are experts in my environment. I could talk to them about the situations I face each day and they could help me create an environment that supports my wellbeing.
"To manage your mental wellbeing, strengthen your resilience and to be yourself, you need to focus on the environments you experience in your daily lives."
When you focus on the environments that you find challenging, you can avoid them or limit your experience of them. You can also make sure you get more of the environments that help you stay resilient. When you focus on your skills, talents & abilities, you can play to your strengths so that you can feel positive and purposeful.
The beauty of this is that other people can more easily help you too. That's because none of this requires any special qualifications.
"Anyone can be an expert in wellbeing & resilience - leaders, managers, colleagues, tutors, teachers, students, pupils, friends and partners. They just need to know what environments have the most positive impact on your wellbeing."
I also found that when people have these conversations with a sense of evenhood, the ability to give and get support for wellbeing is dramatically improved.
The reason why my organisation is called "Evenhood" is because I found that if we have a mindset based in evenhood, this improves wellbeing outcomes.
That's because, in Evenhood, we treat each other with respect, compassion, kindness and equality. Evenhood celebrates togetherness in the same way as we celebrate the togetherness of brotherhood, sisterhood and neighbourhood. In the case of evenhood the thing that we can celebrate together is that we are all even, we are all equal - we all have evenhood.
"When we live in evenhood, we show kindness, respect, compassion and understanding. We care for each other as equals; we offer support; we listen non-judgementally and we encourage others to be themselves."
This sense of evenhood is wonderfully supportive of mental wellbeing. Evenhood means that you can be yourself and you can get support from others to be yourself; without judgement, without accusation, without a sense of superiority or inferiority. With evenhood people share respect, admiration and love for each other.
I've made this website accessible and free - there are free articles to read, free tools to download and use to help you discover the situations that most impact or support your wellbeing, and there are free Evenhood Cards to personalise and share to help kick-start a mentally healthy conversation.
Through Evenhood I also give motivational talks, resilience training or one-to-one wellbeing coaching. If you'd like to make a booking, get in touch through the enquiry page.
You can explore more by having a read of the Evenhood 2020 Prospectus below.